If I ignore my issues, will they fail to be issues?
I walk down the hallway, at work, on the long trek to the time clock. Each day the hallway seems longer with its wildly patterned carpet. It gets harder and harder the further I walk to put one foot in front of the other. My chest heaves with the effort to breath as I travel the length of the hall. It is not that far, I refuse to believe that I am winded, as if I have just walked miles.
The patterning of the flooring is beautiful, but distorts my vision and I focus my eyes upward, fearing the double vision that is threatening. My legs feel extremely weak and I am afraid that I am going to fall.
How had it come to this?
Just a week ago I had taken Georgia, our daughter, to register for school. I had not been feeling well, but I wanted to do this with her. Registering as a Freshman is a big deal. She is growing up so fast, and I did not want to miss another milestone. And I did not want to ask Bruce to take more time off work to do another thing, one more thing, that I did not feel strong enough to do.
When we arrived at the school we had to walk quite a ways to get to the registration area. I was a bit winded, legs a bit weak, but I trudged on. We saw a line wending through a large room, there were stations to stop along the way manned by multiple volunteers to assist us through the morass.
The room was loud. Conversations leaping around and over us, I tried to stay focused on what we needed to accomplish. As we moved from one helpful volunteer to another, who were shouting, or though it seemed to me, directives. Not only was I having issues physically, mentally I became overwhelmed.
Halfway through the line we came to the station were Georgia would receive her school ID, all of her information would be stored on the card, requiring her thumb print. With ID in hand, thumbprint scanned we needed to place a deposit into her lunch account. As we follow the moving line I am attempting to write a check, converse with a helpful volunteer, Georgia chooses this moment to grab my arm to tell me something, and another volunteer is snapping her fingers at me white barking repeatedly, “HERE, HERE!”
I lost it.
Me, who multitasks with the best of them. Me, who can make a drink, tell a joke, listen to one conversation with one ear and use the other ear to hear a client 40 feet away wishing aloud for a refill on their wine, pour their wine, finish the joke, answer the query heard with the first ear, and deliver the wine to the clients 40 feet away- without batting an eye. (Yeah, makes me tired just to think of it, but that was normal for me…once upon a time.)
I pull myself back together, we move on through the line. But now I am exhausted. We walk for miles to find her locker and her classes. I stand up against the wall, fearing that my legs are going to give out, and I am trying not to rush this. I am trying not to ruin something else for my daughter simply because I don’t “feel good”.
But I do not succeed and I feel myself losing the strength in my legs as I slide down the wall. Hoping that it looks nonchalant, not totally lame or uncool. I stay there, thankful when minutes later another exhausted mom sits beside me and we watch our girls putting together their lockers.
After some time we decide to leave and go school shopping, it is much more difficult walking out than it was walking in. And I needed to go home and rest a bit before going on with our day. I am now not only exhausted I am extremely nauseous.
I never really recovered physically.
And each morning as I trek down the hallway at work I am reminded of my weakness. Physically and mentally. I just need to make it through another day, and another, and the next.
One numb foot after the other.